Much of yesterday was spent as today will be, removing countless screws from the bridge deck planks. Lots of screws. I’ll do the math, but I’d say probably 1,000 + screws. Frozen screws. Screws that snap. Stripped screws. Each and every one has to come out. And first each must be dug out from beneath a teak bung, some of which have been epoxied in place, or glued with some strange rubbery compound. Others just pop out. You never know what you’l find. A tedious task to say the least. But that goes with the territory. Much of boat maintenance/restoration is tedious, monotous work.
One thing that made last spring’s work pass more pleasantly was XM Radio. Most times it stayed on X-country, other times Fred or Ethel. Stations all phased out when Sirus and XM merged. Which was the same time I cancelled my contract, vowing I’d only return when the programming I enjoyed did as well. Thousands of other listeners cried foul as well, but judging by the comments on the petitions, (4,450 at last count) most remained customers, hoping things would improve. From what I’ve heard, it hasn’t. But I’ve found some alternatives, and they seem to be working. I still miss Rogue Calls, but at least I’ve found a place to hear most of the music I’d come to expect on X-country. The first, recommended to me by someone named Cody (hmmm?) is Texas Free Radio. Take a listen, there’s good things to be found there. The other is Slacker.com, which also lets me listen to their Americana station, Alternative Country, or switch over to several of their Alternative Rock stations. They have plenty more beyond that, it’s just a matter of what you like. Optimum has WiFi I can log onto right by the boat, so with my laptop and a set of cheap speakers, so if all works as planned, there’ll be music onboard today. And you can get on Slacker via Crackberry. So for all of you still stuck on XM and unhappy, there are options. It just takes a little creativity and some loose screws.
That’s the number of responses so far on the ‘Bring Back XM Radio’s X-Country XM12′ Petition. I will give XM/Siruis some (cough) credit, they had my service shut within minutes of me requesting cancellation, and my remaining year of subscription credited back to me the next day. So for those of you who may have been told you can’t cancel, you most certainly can.
Okay folks. I’ve seen the traffic on my blog skyrocket, and I’ve had more visitors in the last two days find me through searches regarding XM12 Cross Country, X-Country, Rogue Calls and assorted other related terms than I normally see in a month. And if you check the ‘Bring Back X Country Petition’, so far 574 people and rising have signed. (I’m #23) Many have multiple XM/Sirius Satellite accounts, and many say “bring back x country or I’ll cancel!”
I would like to suggest a different approach, one I took immediately upon discovering the programming change. CANCEL! If it’s not worth listening to, stop listening, and stop paying. And if, like me, you paid yearly in advance, demand a refund for the remainder of the year. Don’t let them tell you it isn’t possible. Trust me, they’ll try. But they changed the programming in the contract, thereby they voided the contract. Their current programming is NOT what I paid for, and I demanded my money back. Okay, they’ll try to sway you, telling you try it, you might like it. Sorry, no sale there either. Then they’ll try selling you a discounted bill of goods… I can’t even tell you how it figures because I wouldn’t even listen. Thanks but no thanks, if there’s no Cross Country, I want my money back, conversation over. They said they were sorry to lose me as a subscriber, and I said I was sorry too. They shouldn’t have taken away my main reason for subscribing, not to mention wiping out every other preset I had on my receiver. I guess that says something about my musical tastes, but by the look of that petition, I’m not alone. Now, if those of you on the fence take that plunge, perhaps we’ll force their hand. They still have my email and address. I’m sure I haven’t heard the last of XM/Sirius.
And I’m not happy. In fact, after more years than I can recall, I’m no longer an XM Radio subscriber. I canceled today after their merge with Sirius Satellite brought on what they claim are programming upgrades and improvements. One of those upgrades was to turn X Country into ‘Outlaw’, and they claim it shares much of the playlist. Unfortunately, what it shares is the occasional music I liked least. Rogue Calls is gone, as is Texas Fred and the Armadillo Radio. Truly depressing. XM12 was the main preset on my radio, and got 95% of my listening time. Nice move, guys. It wasn’t broke, and you sure as hell didn’t fix it. Oh yeah, and XM also over-wrote Ethel, Lucy and Fred, essentially wiping out all my other favorite presets.
So, for any of you displaced X Country listeners out there, here’s a petition you can sign to let XM know how you feel…
Read the Bring Back XM Radio’s X-Country XM12 Petition
And here’s some listening options I’ve discovered…
Radio Free Texas: http://radiofreetexas.org./
Texas Exile : http://loudcity.com/stations/texas-exile-radio/tune_in
XM Radio: Bring back x-country XM12 and maybe I’ll re-instate my account.